Sunday, June 26, 2011

Black flight: Black British actors are moving to the US

Via Shadow and Act
It looks likes a black flight. British TV and theatre is suffering from a talent drain of black British actors, with many looking to the US for work because of the lack of opportunities in the UK, leading figures have warned, wrote the UK magazine Stage.

High-profile performers… have warned that home-grown stars are leaving the country due to its failure to fully embrace multicultural casting.

They argue the UK does not offer enough lead roles to black performers or commission programmes reflecting the diversity of life in Britain today. By contrast, the US is considered more inclusive in its casting and as somewhere black actors can better progress their careers.

Shadow and Act wrote the BBC has “rejected criticism that UK television does not provide enough parts for black actors, claiming that the Corporation “leads the way” in diverse casting,” siting primetime drama series with starring roles for Idris Elba and Chiwetel Ejiofor.

Second, unlike the BBC, UK’s Channel 4 admits that “casting is always an area where we could do better,” and further that they are “aware of black actors looking for work in the US;“ although, while the USA might present “wider opportunities,” they believe there’s also “more competition.” “An area where I think we can really make progress is by casting against type and taking more risks with talent. It’s an area where agents, producers and broadcasters can do more,” a rep for Channel 4 said.

Also read: There’s no educated ethnic middle class in this country (the UK) to counter the black 'street’ stereotype, writes Lindsay Johns. The post is a follow up. Read it at S&A


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